Research Report

Working Paper 2: Social Change in the Economic Transformation of Livelihoods

Voices from the Upland Mountain Community in Southwestern China

Since 1983, China’s attempts at market-driven economic growth through agricultural reforms and tourism are resulting in the transformation of traditional use and tenure of land and forest. As the market economy encounters the largely subsistence-based economies of the rural mountain areas, increased commercialisation of non-timber forest products for outside markets is placing pressures on rural livelihoods and natural resources. The study explores these changes in the Jinuo and Dai ethnic peoples living in the upland mountains of Yunnan province in southwestern China to understand the social implications of this livelihood transformation: changing gender identification in the collection and harvest of non-timber forest products; and, the social networks hidden in non-timber forest products barter system or the Laogen network – a social relationship based on friendship among members of the Jinuo and Dai peoples.

Publication date : October 2004
Price : 180 Baht / 7 US$